Home Uttarakhand Colonial mindset led to neglect of India’s great heritage: Modi

Colonial mindset led to neglect of India’s great heritage: Modi

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PM lays foundation stones of projects worth Rs 3,400 crores at Village Mana

By Arun Pratap Singh

Badrinath, 21 Oct: Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Badrinath today after offering prayers at Kedarnath in the morning. During his stay at Badrinath, he had darshan of the Deity and offered prayers there.

Later, he also addressed a public gathering at village Mana, which is known as the last village of the country on this side of the border. He also laid the foundation stone of various development projects worth more than Rs 3,400 crore at the programme. These projects include two road widening projects, namely ‘Mana to Mana Pass (NH-07)’ and ‘Joshimath to Malari (NH107B)’ as well as two of two ropeway projects at Gaurikund-Kedarnath and Govindghat-Hemkund Sahib. Modi also visited the local Saras Mela at Mana during his visit.

Modi is scheduled to spend the night at Badrinath and will fly to Dehradun in the morning from where he will return to Delhi.

This was his second visit to Badrinath as the Prime Minister and, during his address, he appealed to the tourists and pilgrims of the country to spend at least 5 percent of their total expenditure related to the trip on purchase of local products.  In an important message, he asserted that the colonial mindset in the people even after independence had led to the dilapidated condition of ancient temples. He added that the Centre is now trying to revive the shrines despite several hurdles. This colonial mindset had gripped the people in a manner that even working towards progress led to a feeling of guilt. He added that, for several decades, the religious places remained neglected even when all these centres of faith were not mere structures but a life force for every Indian that had kept every Indian alive even in the most difficult of times. Today, Ayodhya, Kashi, Ujjain are regaining their glory. Kedarnath and Badrinath Dhams are being associated with modernity and reverence. A grand Ram Temple is being built in Ayodhya, from the temple of Maa Kali in Pavagadh in Gujarat to the Goddess Vindhyachal Corridor. He added that India is now calling for its cultural uplift. Reaching these places of faith has become easy for every devotee. It is believed that these will also become the centres of attraction for the new generations of the country. Now, even the disabled pilgrims would be able to have darshan because of the ropeways and better connectivity.

Modi also spoke at length about Uttarakhand. He said that although villages like Mana were traditionally called the last villages, but they would now be known as first villages of India. He also recalled his past visit to Mana years ago when he was an ordinary BJP worker and did not hold any political post.

Appreciating the exhibition of local products made by the women of the Self Help Groups of Mana village, the Prime Minister said that they had done a great job. He also praised the packaging of the products. Referring to Vocal for Local, the Prime Minister urged the countrymen to make a resolution to spend at least 5 percent of the total cost of their trips on buying local products.

The Prime Minister said that the corona vaccine was delivered to the mountains during the Covid period. In this, better work was done in Uttarakhand and Himachal. Lakhs of people of Uttarakhand got benefits under the Garib Kalyan Yojana. The double engine government had connected youth with homestays and skill development. Tourism is expanding. Water is now also being supplied from tap to villages under the Jal Jeevan Mission. Work is rapidly in progress to provide multi modal connectivity to remote and far off areas. Projects like Sagarmala, Bharatmala are in progress and some projects had been taken up in the hills under the Parvatmala project to boost ropeway connectivity in the hills. With the ropeway, there would be increased activity in the border villages and growth would push the people to feel like returning to their native villages once there is ease of living and better connectivity.  He said that by terming remote areas as last villages, growth was neglected in the border areas but the present government has begun treating them as first villages and is now paying heed to their development.

Recalling his visit to Mana 25 years ago, he said that a meeting of the BJP had been scheduled at Mana but the party workers did not want then to go so far for the meeting. However he had reminded the party workers that Mana would become a centre of development in future. The government is now working to improve connectivity as well as economic activity. He reminded that that, on this, day his life had been blessed by having darshan of Baba Kedar and Baba Badri Vishal. These moments would always remain close to his heart. He said that the last time he had come to Kedarnath, the Deity had put words in his mouth that the third decade of the 21st century belonged to Uttarakhand. He would now like to reiterate the same during his current stay here. The government has taken the resolve to make the dreams turn into reality. The Prime Minister said that the two main pillars of a developed India of the 21st century are pride in its heritage and every effort for development. Uttarakhand is strengthening both these pillars. Today, he got an opportunity to lay the foundation stone of two ropeways. This would make it easier to visit Kedarnath and Hemkund Sahib. He urged the residents of the area to take care of the labourers engaged in these works.

The Prime Minister said that the Devbhoomi is witnessing a major change. Before the formation of the double engine government, a maximum of 5 lakh devotees used to come in a season; now the number had gone up to 45 lakhs this season. There was another side to the reconstruction of faith and spirituality. Development activities brought employment with them. Now the government is working on a plan to use drones for carrying goods as well in Uttarakhand as this would facilitate the people to take their local produce to the markets.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said it is great fortune to be in the company of a great sage like the Prime Minister, whose thoughts were benefiting the whole world. Like an ascetic, the Prime Minister Modi was successfully lighting the fire of building a new India. On behalf of all the people of Uttarakhand, he assured that Uttarakhand would contribute towards the progress of the country.

Dhami added that the Prime Minister had always given priority to the development of Uttarakhand and under his leadership an unprecedented saga of progress and upliftment was being written in Devbhoomi. After that very horrific tragedy of the year 2013, as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, it was Modi who had first extended hand to Uttarakhand.

The Chief Minister said that due to the immense grace of Baba Bholenath and the preparations made as per the Prime Minister’s guidelines, 4 crore Shiva devotees got the privilege of carrying Ganga water from Haridwar during the Kanwar Yatra this year and, so far, 45 lakh devotees had undertaken the Chardham Yatra already.